Last week, out of the blue, my son asked me two big questions that sent me scrambling: “Why did people fly planes full of people into buildings on September 11?” and “Is the hurricane Florence going to kill people this week?”
At least he gave me a day or two to recover between interrogations!
He is being exposed to—and attempting to cope with—information with which all of us are all too aware: we live in a world in which it’s difficult to make sense of sin and its effects. My job is to help him think about and respond to the effects of sin that he’s going to witness in a distinctly Christian way.
How many friends and followers do you have on social media? Do you still get lonely? Our social media feeds simply cannot take the edge off our loneliness or fill us with the life-giving friendship we need.
The picture is actually pretty silly. There’s Jesus on His iPhone X, scrolling His Instagram feed and double tapping pictures of his friends. “Nah,” you might say. “Jesus wouldn’t use an iPhone! He’d use His laptop, and only when He’s on break… never while He’s on the clock!”
The truth is that God, in His infinite wisdom, sent Jesus to take on flesh and live among us at just the right time, in just the right place. That wasn’t in 2018 with an iPhone and Instagram, but it’s still helpful to consider the question, What would Jesus do on social media? I think it’s equally helpful to consider what He wouldn’t do on social media.
We’re diving into what Jesus would do on social media. I believe this bold statement is broken into three very, very simple points. He would teach. He would encourage. He would connect. We see in Matthew 9:35 how Jesus traveled to towns proclaiming the Good News with those He came in contact with. Then, He commanded his followers to share the Good News with everyone they came in contact with (Luke 9:1-6). So, the greatest story in history was preserved as our story, as followers of Christ, today. How was it spread? It was spread through relationships (from when togas were a thing to business suits), it was spread through written Word (the Bible), and it was spread through preaching (on the steps of a temple to megachurches). Throughout all of the centuries there are two common denominators: Jesus and people.
I have a confession to make. If Facebook wasn’t part of my job at the church, I don’t think I’d get on very often. It can be depressing, frustrating, confusing, and downright annoying. Why would I want to subject myself to something like that? It feels like it’s easier to simply remove myself from it than to try and understand where people are coming from.
As followers of Christ, we see the world through a different lens. We consider our decisions not by what the world tells us, but by the standards that God has called us to. Would Jesus, the sinless Son of God, use social media if He were living among us today? You might be surprised that my answer is, “yes.”
In my life, I’ve had the opportunity to go on 10 different mission trips as a student or as a leader, and this trip was a unique one. Our team worked with BLOC Ministries—an inner-city ministry in Cincinnati devoted to living where they serve while, showing the love and hope of Christ to those around them.
So picture this: nine students and three adults in two church vans doing work projects in 95-degree weather. It was one sweaty, summer adventure, but it was so good!
We climbed into wooden canoes on the Oti river. We pushed off and our guides paddled us to the other side. We landed and stepped into Togo.
We hiked up the rocky river bank to the dirt road and hid from the hot sun under a small building with a thatched roof, eagerly waiting for our ride to arrive. We had already visited several churches in Ghana, but we could not have imagined what would happen next.
Feelings of guilt and shame are typically a universal experience of the human condition. So why is it so hard to get rid of them?
First, let’s consider two big possibilities. 1. These feelings are just a psychological construction that I need to talk myself out of. 2. There is a perfect Creator God that I have sinned against, and these feelings are rooted in a true condition of guilt.
Why does gender matter? And particularly, why is there so much hurt, brokenness and confusion when it comes to gender in the world today? I am heartbroken to see and experience all of this hurt and brokenness in our world. This is an issue we want to explore with compassion and gentleness because of the profound hurt that has happened. When we seek answers to these questions, it is not to point a finger or condemn. Rather, it is to bind up wounds, to embrace, and to bring healing and life. Let’s go back to the beginning to explore these questions.